First Impressions: Khalid, Tinashe, Paris Hilton And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 02/20/2018

First Impressions are our weekly roundtable reviews sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. This week Tinashe, Khalid & Normani, G Flip, 6lack, Paris Hilton and Kodak Black face the jury.

Tinashe - Faded Love (Feat. Future)

Sam Murphy: I have to admit I did thing the chorus was a little bit lacklustre at first listen but I've returned to this numerous times since it was released and now I find it totally intoxicating. Tinashe slinks through those verses like the melodic pro she is and Future makes total sense here which is more than I can say for Offset on No Drama. I think she's totally on top of her game right now and this is another smash. 4

Parry Tritsiniotis:
This song is pretty safe. Very clean R&B beat with a slight hint of some electronica with the vocal chops make it very safe for radio and mass consumption. It's also quite predictable for Tinashe to have a trending southern rapper on her song again for sales, yet Future doesn’t add much other than some cheesy lines. Maybe that's just the “Kings Dead” PTSD talking. 2.5

Ti Butler: I don't know, I just feel like this doesn't go anywhere. On an intellectual level, I get it, and I know Spotify playlists will eat this up. Tinashe’s vocal, as always, is great. The production is nice. It’s just not memorable, which is a shame. 2

Khalid & Normani - Love Lies

Sam: I thought that if Fifth Harmony was going to produce another solo star it would be Lauren at a stretch but hello Normani. She's absolutely phenomenal in this. Her vocal is so textured in this and she's a total star in the video clip. Khalid supports her well but this is Normani's show. A really excellent start. 4

Parry: This is far from my thing but I can’t shit on it. Khalid flows on the minimal beat very nicely, finding some nice pockets with good personality and attitude. Structurally the song is very strong also, with the combination of Khalid and Normani at the end a very nice touch. 3.5

Ti: That “tell me where your love li-i-ies” hook is exactly what's missing from the Tinashe/Future song from earlier. In fact, after hearing that line, I completely forgot everything from the previous song. This song grabs your attention, Normani sounds great on her own, Khalid obviously sounds great, it's a very good song. That Normani solo career thing's looking pretty promising. 3.5

G Flip - About You

Sam: I honestly can't remember an Aussie debut that struck as fast as this one did. It's taken only a week for this to rack up 100,000 views on YouTube and grab a Pitchfork feature. It's totally deserved because it really is next-level. Her voice in the verses is so rich and emotional while the layering in the chorus packs such a punch. I love how she takes to the drums for the finale of this song. It's something you really wouldn't expect and yet she manages to do it in a way that weaves into the song effortlessly without sounding gimmicky. I'm struggling to think of a debut I've liked as much as this recently. 4.5

Parry: Don’t want to be the guy but this song is abit overhyped. There's nothing terribly bad about it but also nothing that really stands up and takes you on a compelling musical journey. The progression of the track saves it from being a shocker, lifting it from its nap worthy first verse. The song only really feels captivating when G Flip plays the drums, but even here the extra synth gives it a messy, uncomfortable feeling. 2

Ti: Oh, come on Parry! I think it’s so captivating right from the outset! I get really strong early MGMT Time To Pretend vibes from this song. It’s cool, and it stands out, and I just want to hear more! 4.5

6lack - Cutting Ties

Sam: Bar That Far, I feel like I'm missing something with 6lack. Every song is good but I don't think he's had his breakthrough yet. He's definitely got something and his feel for melody on this one is something special but there's one thing that's missing. I'm not sure exactly what that is and I know that makes me hopeless at my job but I really can't put my finger on it. 3

Parry: Bit more of the same here from 6LACK. He is really capitalising off the dark and grimey R&B sound that saw the success of his huge album FREE 6LACK. His vocal is crisp, and the beat pretty on point, all the less, it isn’t the leap into new worlds that I would’ve liked from him. 3

Ti: That’s the word. Samey. 2

Paris Hilton - I Need You

Sam: I knew I wasn't here for Paris' renaissance and this just proves to me I'm definitely not. She just doesn't get it. She's got all these people cheering her on, wanting to embrace this club-ready Paris and she dishes up a '50 doo-wop, Meghan Trainor reject. So inconceivably bad that I needed 10 minutes of silence to recover following it. 0.5

Parry: Ahahahaha holy moly. This is bad but it’s a great meme. Video clip sort of makes me uncomfortable knowing the majority of the views will come from middle aged men reminiscing on the Paris Hilton that used to be. 1

Ti: Stop liking terrible songs from ten years ago because you think it’s funny, because every time you turn awful songs into a meme the artist thinks “hey, maybe people want more new music from me!” and then we get songs like this. 0.5 for the song, 5 for the absolute #lifegoals visual

Kodak Black - Why You Always Gotta Go

Sam: Kodak has a seriously good feel for a tune and I reckon this has the same kind of hit potential as Tunnel Vision. It feels like he's got this strong melodic element that's setting him apart from peers like Yachty, Rich The Kid and even Uzi. Love him or hate him it's pretty hard to ignore that there's a strong tune here. 3.5

Parry: This really saddens me. Seeing Kodak go from one of the most promising artists with a unique sound to a troubled rapper with a multitude of legal issues hurts. Even though it says these songs were “finished” last year, I feel this track and this mixtape are just to avoid Kodak going down a dark road, similar to the likes of Bobby Shmurda. It's not horrible, the hook is catchy and compelling, but the track still feels off. #freekodak 2

Ti: This song has a Pokémon reference pretty early on. That bit’s good. 1

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